With­out Killing your PC

Computer Active (UK) - - Front Page -

There are few cer­tain­ties in life be­yond death and taxes? But an­other thing we’re pretty sure of is that ev­ery sin­gle one of our read­ers’ PCS is unique. No two will have the same make, model, pro­ces­sor, amount of RAM, graph­ics card, hard drive or op­er­at­ing sys­tem. And, of course, no two will have ex­actly the same pro­grams, apps and browser ex­ten­sions in­stalled.

Con­sider your own PC. Some of its soft­ware will have been pre-in­stalled by your PC’S man­u­fac­turer – all these pro­grams are of­ten re­ferred to as bloat­ware. Mi­crosoft will have em­bed­ded its own prod­ucts into Win­dows as part of its re­lent­less quest to force us to use its own apps and ser­vices. Then there’s the soft­ware you in­stalled your­self – ei­ther in­ten­tion­ally or not (yes, we’re talk­ing about all those hideous PUPS, browser hi­jack­ers and un­wanted ex­tras that get smug­gled in when­ever you try to in­stall a pro­gram you do want).

You can get an over­view of the pro­grams and apps in­stalled on your PC by check­ing Win­dows’ list. Click the Start but­ton, type add re­move, then press En­ter. From here you can re­move any listed pro­gram or app, but we wouldn’t rec­om­mend it. Some of these might be in­te­gral to the func­tion­ing of your com­puter, and re­mov­ing them may have a se­ri­ous im­pact. Other pro­grams – for ex­am­ple, browser ex­ten­sions – won’t be listed at all. Your first step, there­fore, is to pro­duce a de­fin­i­tive list of ev­ery­thing that’s squir­relled away on your PC, be­fore work­ing out what’s safe to re­move.

In this fea­ture we’ll show you how to do ex­actly that. We’ll ex­plain which ded­i­cated unin­stal­la­tion pro­grams are best for root­ing out hid­den pro­grams, apps and browser ex­ten­sions. More im­por­tantly, we’ll help you make an in­formed de­ci­sion on which pro­grams you should keep, and which you can safely delete.

Fi­nally, we’ll ex­plain how to scour your reg­istry for pro­gram left­overs and how to re­move those stub­born ‘we shall not be moved’ pro­grams.

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